The Nieuport 11 project Update

By Rick Johnston

SOFH Operations Director

SOFH members have another project also being built in parallel to the Nieuport 17. A 7/8ths scale Nieuport 11 World War I fighter. It is being built as a static-display-only airplane. This project has not officially started and scheduled yet. Although some plans for wooden structure wings have been designed to attach to the aluminum fuselage already completed. Depending on the number of individuals that will be involved and number of hours they can commit, it could be completed about the same time as the Nieuport 17 starts flying. The Nieuport 11 will be loaned to a museum or other venue like an airport for indoor display. That project has a nearly completed fuselage, tail and landing gear structure. Likely the schedule will be Saturday mornings from 0800 to 1200 hours twice monthly. 1st and 3rd Saturdays.

 

7/8s scale Nieuport 11 with our O-1/L-19E Bird Dog in the background.

More people are needed for both projects and additional activities planning for the future by the museum. Additional replicas may be built depending on the results with this project and the 7/8ths scale replica. To continue our operation we need more members, more capital and more people willing to work a few hours per week on the projects. Our current members include aerodynamic engineers, engineers, pilots, instructor pilots, A&P mechanics, and other professionals. Members who are pilots can have the opportunity to fly our aircraft too.

Consider volunteering for the Saving our Flying Heritage Museum, a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization. We would really love to have you as a member and you will have a lot of fun! Donations are also excepted gratefully and are tax deductible. Would you like more information on how to donate, volunteer and become a member. 

Contact Information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 256-520-7133. 

"What is that?"

by Rick Johnston,

Director of Operations, SOFH Museum.

If you were walking past a hanger at Moontown and saw what was in this particular one you might ask!  What is that?! 

 

In a private hanger tucked away at Moontown Airport is a bit of a secret project. Few know of its existence and fewer have seen what is going on. In the hanger amongst the two Yak 52M warbirds, a Citabria Decathlon, and an Experimental called Lionheart there is a table full of metal parts and what looks a bit like a skeleton of a biplane coming together. In fact that is what it is, a replica of a French Fighter airplane from World War I. Granted it is being built with aluminum structure not wood, and it is being built by hand, a one off and not manufactured. The airplane is a project of the Saving our Flying Heritage Museum group. 

This is an experimental full-size flying airplane with a single seat for the pilot and little else but power and controls. The purpose of the aircraft is to educate the public by touring the fly in circuit in the area of middle Tennessee, and North Alabama and possibly some other close venues. The airplane will be flown into these events for the public to view them and get an idea of how primitive airplanes were one hundred years ago. 

Gordy Seuell owns the hanger and keeps things moving for the team, while Rob King, David Pemberton, and Paul Messicks work on the airplane Monday and Thursdays each week for a couple of hours at a time. The status of the airplane is that the structure is about 75% completed. The wing spars are being fixed to the fuselage. Next, they will be installing some of the rigging and aluminum tubular ribs. I asked Gordy when he thinks they will be finished and he said about 9 months while Rob leans more toward a year before the first flight.

  

 

 

The airplane is a kit from Aerodrome Airplanes out of Missouri. The engine is a spare engine that Gordy Sewell donated. Although not the same rotary type originally in these fighters it develops the power required to fly very well.

The team building the airplane can always use more help and more resources. 

We are beginning to see real progress on the build of the replica Nieuport 17.

The build team has finally gotten some small but vital parts. New SOFH member David Pemberton machined a few from metal stock. 

The engine, donated by member Gordy Seuell, is on the engine stand being prepped for installation. We received the engine mounts from Aerodrome Aircraft. They are installed and ready for the motor. 

Work continues on the wings. The newly machined parts will permit the installation and rigging of flying wires (wires which support the weight of the airplane in flight) and ground wires (which support it on the ground). The team is taking pains to ensure the proper sweep and dihedral on the wings. Sweep is the fore and aft angle of the wings from the center. Dihedral in the angle of the wings up from the center. 

Currently the airplane looks like a jungle gym. But the team expects it to become the skeleton of a World War I fighter soon.

View looking forward from the tail.  Elevators and rudder
to the upper left